Memorable Manitobans: James Douglas “Doug” McMurtry (1919-2016)
Born at Mazenod, Saskatchewan on 8 October 1919, son of James and Ethel Jane McMurtry, he was ordained as a minister of the United Church of Canada in 1944. A conscientious objector during the Second World War, he served with the Friends Ambulance Unit in China. On his return to Canada, he served as minister at several charges in Saskatchewan.
He later moved to Winnipeg where he was Superintendent of Home Missions and Personnel Officer for the United Church. He was later minister at Immanuel United Church in East Kildonan. He participated in the Northern Flood Committee to seek fair treatment of Indigenous peoples affected by hydro development in northern Manitoba and he worked with the All Native Circle Conference, Dr. Jessie Resource Centre (Sandy-Saulteaux Spiritual Centre), Project Peacemakers, and Project North. In recognition of his leadership, he received an honorary doctorate from the University of Saskatchewan.
He was married twice, first to Gwendaline Isabel “Gwen” Davis (1920-1992) with whom he had three children and second to Grace Searle.
He died at Winnipeg on 14 December 2016.
Obituary [Gwendaline Isabel McMurtry], Winnipeg Free Press, 22 July 1992, page 17.
Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 17 December 2016.
We thank Bill Blaikie for providing additional information used here.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 6 March 2022